By Joe Shearer, Contributor
The sound of soaked shoes was in the air as soggy-socked students sprinted, jogged and walked through a sprinkling Sunday morning for Maverick Productions’ Wake Up & Run! 5k.
Held on the expansive grounds of UNO’s Center Street Campus (formerly Chili Greens) off of 72nd and Spring Streets, the “fun run and walk” was planned in partner with, and to benefit, the TeamMates Mentoring Program. TeamMates, started in Nebraska by Tom and Nancy Osborne, is a school-based mentoring program that recruits adult mentors to help and encourage youth to graduate high school and pursue higher education.
The morning turned out to be much nicer than most expected, considering the night before was comparatively bone-chilling; and despite the moist grounds, over 50 5k entrants trudged their way up, down and across the wide field, donning sweats, footies and other forms of pajamas.
Awaiting the early-rising exercisers at the finish line was the Pancake Man, who flipped fluffy treats for participants. It was a fitting way to receive breakfast on football Sunday. The Acoustic Gangster provided music and a custom photo booth was also on hand to provide the entrants with post-run entertainment.
Maverick Productions Program Board Member, Kaleigh Duffy proposed the event and her board planned the event out since last spring. The organization had worked with TeamMates in the past and Duffy said she was glad to be able to partner up with them again, saying that their mission fit well with the theme of UNO and community engagement.
The 5k was open to the public, as well as students, which isn’t usual for Maverick Productions. Since their events are student-fee funded, they are usually restricted to students with MavCards. The partnership with TeamMates allowed for them to invite people outside campus.
“It’s all about the fun,” Duffy said. “And I’m glad we were able to reach out to UNO and also the community.”
From raising money for TeamMates to networking for future mentors to getting a nice morning run in, Duffy said her and the rest of her Mav Pro colleagues are happy that they were able to help out a good cause.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” Duffy said. “We feel like we’re reaching past the boundaries of the UNO campus with events like this. And we’re reaching into the community, which has been a goal of ours for a very long time.”
For more information about Maverick Productions and future events, check their profile at facebook.com/unomavpro or visit nebraskaomaha.orgsync.com/org/maverick productions.